Groundbreaking Report Reveals Shooting's Billion-Pound Boost to UK's Natural Capital

In a landmark study released by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), shooting activities across the UK have been shown to contribute over £1.1 billion annually to the nation's natural capital. This comprehensive analysis, the first of its kind, highlights the multifaceted benefits of shooting, ranging from carbon sequestration and biodiversity enhancement to substantial socioeconomic impacts on rural communities.

A Pivotal Role

Traditionally viewed through the lens of recreation and heritage, shooting's role in environmental stewardship and conservation has often been underappreciated. The BASC report, however, brings to light the extensive environmental benefits derived from responsible shooting practices. Key among these is the contribution to carbon storage and capture, estimated at £382 million annually, highlighting shooting's pivotal role in the UK's climate change mitigation efforts.

Health, Recreation, and Rural Economy

The report also illuminates shooting's significant contributions to public health, with savings estimated at £64 million, owing to both physical and mental health benefits for participants. The recreational value of shooting, providing enjoyment and engagement for hundreds of thousands across the UK, is appraised at £608 million, evidencing the sport's deep-seated role in the cultural fabric of rural life.

Moreover, shooting's integration into the rural landscape and economy is proved by its contributions to food production and forestry, valued at approximately £100 million. This not only supports local economies but also helps with sustainable land management practices.

A Call for Policy Integration and Sustainable Management

The findings present a compelling case for the inclusion of shooting in broader environmental policy frameworks, advocating for sustainable management practices that can align with national environmental goals. BASC Chairman Eoghan Cameron expressed pride in presenting the report, emphasizing shooting's balanced contribution to public benefits, from carbon benefits to supporting farm and forestry efficiency.

Research, Policy, and Public Perception

The report's insights are poised to influence future research, policy development and public perception regarding the role of traditional countryside activities in modern conservation efforts. It represents a call to action for sustainable management and collaboration across sectors to ensure the continued provision of these invaluable benefits.

As the UK grapples with pressing environmental challenges, the BASC Natural Capital Report offers a blueprint for integrating shooting into the collective effort to safeguard natural capital for future generations. The report does a lot to reframe the narrative around shooting but also serves as a model for assessing the broader environmental and social contributions of outdoor activities. 


Five Key Takeaways


Significant Economic Contribution

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) report reveals that shooting activities contribute over £1.1 billion annually to the UK's natural capital, highlighting the substantial economic impact of shooting on the national level.

Environmental Benefits

Shooting plays a pivotal role in environmental stewardship, with key benefits including carbon storage and capture valued at £382 million, showcasing the sport's contribution to climate change mitigation and biodiversity enhancement.

Societal and Health Advantages

The report outlines significant health benefits associated with shooting, amounting to £64 million in public health cost savings. Additionally, the recreational value for participants and the public is estimated at £608 million, underscoring the importance of shooting for physical and mental well-being.

Support for Rural Economies

Beyond environmental and health benefits, shooting is integral to the rural economy, contributing approximately £100 million through food production, forestry, and support for local businesses, demonstrating its role in sustaining rural livelihoods and landscapes.

Call for Integrated Policy and Sustainable Management 

The findings advocate for the inclusion of shooting in broader environmental and land management policies, emphasizing the need for sustainable practices that align with conservation goals. This report serves as a foundation for future research and policy development, aiming to enhance public understanding and support for sustainable shooting practices.